Max Entin has a lot of interesting things to say about starting a IT services firm.
We spent some time with Max to learn more about his company, Reality Software.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly and where are you based?
Reality Software provides professional IT services consisting of custom software development, website design and maintenance, search engine optimization, pay-per-click campaign management and implementation of other internet advertising initiatives.
We are based in Toronto in Canada.
When did you start Reality Software?
The business was officially started in February of 2006, but was in planning since September of 2005.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Before starting Reality Software I worked as a software developer for a couple of years. Before that I was in school getting my computer science degree.
This is my second business. While in University, I ran a summer window cleaning business. It taught me a lot of valuable lessons about running a business and was also quite profitable and made me three times more than a regular summer job would pay.
Where did you get the startup money for Reality Software?
This company was started with $15,000 of my own money and a $30,000 loan from a bank.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
There's literally hundreds of thousands of other companies that provide services that are similar to what we do.
The main thing is to constantly market your services and build relationships with your existing clients.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
The fact that I ran a different business before this one was good and bad. Customer mentality and sales cycles are very different in a window cleaning business and an IT consulting business. It took me several months to adjust to that.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Even though I worked as a software developer before and also ran another business before, I was not prepared for the consulting game at the very start.
It took me several months to understand it and adjust to it. I should've gotten some experience working for a software development consulting company before doing it on my own.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Constantly market your services, never stop.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Get some experience working for a similar company and preferably in a role that's close to a customer.
That's great advice. It's nice to learn what works and what doesn't work on somebody else's dime. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, and good luck in growing your business. If any of our site visitors are in Toronto and need some IT help, they can find Reality Software at 5000 Yonge St, Suite 1901, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, M2N 7E9 or just visit their website.